As all readers of The Violence of Development website will be aware, Honduran farmworkers and campesinos suffer enough difficulties without having their land taken from them. Telesur recently reported on yet another regressive force in Honduran society – agrarian reform for the benefit of international capital and the wealthy.
Published 14 October 2020, Telesur
Key words: Honduras; Banana Law; CNTC; agrarian reform regression.
Representatives from several Honduran Campesino organisations announced that they would carry out protest actions against the approval of decree PCM 030-2020. This norm, called the ‘Banana Law’ by rural activists, would give land plots to national and international private capital.
Farmworkers claim that the measure could take away the livelihood of some 450,000 rural families. According to the campesinos, this decree is a retreat from the agrarian conquests obtained in recent years. It motivates the transfer of land (which is cultivated by small farmers) to the hands of the highest bidder.
As part of the initiative’s actions, the Campesino movement presented an appeal of unconstitutionality against decree PCM 030-2020 before the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).
The leader of the National Rural Workers Union (CNTC), Franklin Almendares, said that the appeal is the first action to defeat the initiative, which has been the unified demand of several peasant organisations since the beginning. “This appeal goes against the life of small farmers, is a step backward from the agrarian reform, and would increase criminalization in the countryside,” stated Almendares.
“We say no to the new Banana Law, and many organizations are joining together, that is why we are doing this because we cannot allow something to be approved that comes to take away land from more than 450,000 families, increasing the crisis in the countryside; we know that there is no political will for agrarian reform,” Almendares emphasized.
From the peasant movement lawyers’ point of view, the decree gives land to national and international agribusiness for 30 years, becoming a harmful decree for those it purportedly represents.
The CNTC warned that there are already agreements to hand over land to business people in the Colón department under this decree’s protection. The situation is causing alarm among the peasantry and leading them to continue planning protest actions. For this reason, they do not rule out that in the coming days, the protest actions may be through roadblocks, sit-ins, and public denunciations to put on the table the total repeal of what they call the Banana Law.
“We will carry out permanent actions at the national level, takeovers, sit-ins, and protests. We know that they are going to criminalize us, but we assure you that we will continue to fight,” Almendares concluded.